Portmanteau: Definition and Examples of Portmanteau Words

There are many examples of portmanteau in the English language, we see it extremely often, sometimes without even realising it. But what is a portmanteau and how are they used in conversation? In this article, we will be looking at what a portmanteau is and what it’s function is. We will also be taking a look at some examples of portmanteau words and their meanings.

Portmanteau

Portmanteau Definition

What Is A Portmanteau?

A portmanteau is a word which has been made up of two existing words in order to create a new sound. The new word blends the sounds and meanings of the two words from which it is made up.

The reason for using a portmanteau is to give a meaning to something which is combined from two different things, a good example of this is the word podcast this is a portmanteau of the two words iPod and broadcast which has a new meaning of a broadcast which can be listened to on an iPod. By creating this new word, the speaker does not have to use the sentence ‘a broadcast listened to on an iPod’ and simply has to use the one word, podcast.

Portmanteau Words Examples

We will now take a look at a detailed list of portmanteau words and their meanings.

  • Motel – a combination of the words hotel and motorway which means a roadside hotel used for brief stays.
  • Chortle – a combination of the words chuckle and snort to describe a laugh which resembles both of these.
  • Spork – a combination of the words spoon and fork to talk about an instrument which functions as both pieces of cutlery.
  • Mockumentary – a combination of the words mock and documentary to talk about a satirical or paradoxical film.
  • Cockapoo – a combination of the words Cockerspaniel and Poodle which refers to a cross breed of both species.
  • Labradoodle – a combination of the words Labrador and Poodle which refers to a cross breed of both species.
  • Britpop – a combination of British and popular music which refers to pop music from the UK.
  • Bromance – a combination of the words brother and romance which describes a very close friendship between two males.
  • Muppet – a combination of the words marionette and puppet which describes the collections of puppets made by Jim Henson.
  • Brexit – a combination of the words Britain and exit which talks about the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.
  • Bootlicious – a combination of the words booty and delicious which is slang for the shapely and attractive backside of a woman.
  • Cosplay – a combination of the words costume and role play to describe the dressing up and acting hobby known by this name.
  • Electricutioner – a combination of the words electric and executioner which refers to a person who operates an electric chair.
  • Romcom – a combination of the words romance and comedy referring to a movie which features both of these genres.
  • Sitcom – a combination of the words situational and comedy which describes a comedy set in a particular setting.
  • Hatchimal – a combination of the words hatch and animal, a brand name for a toy which hatches a stuffed animal from a plastic egg.
  • Infomercial – a combination of the words information and commercial which refers to a type of informative advert.
  • Moped – a combination of the words motor and pedal which means a motorised cycle.
  • Alcopop – a combination of the words alcohol and pop which describes an alcoholic, fruit flavoured, carbonated beverage.
  • Mocktail – a combination of the words mock and cocktail which is used to describe a cocktail that contains no alcohol.
  • Banoffee – a combination of the words banana and toffee to describe a flavour or dessert which uses both of these foods.
  • Frappuccino – a combination of the words frappe and cappuccino used to describe a hybrid of these two drinks.
  • Froyo – a combination of the words frozen and yogurt which is used to talk about a type of dessert that fits this description.
  • Jangle – a combination of the words jingle and dangle which describes something that has both of these qualities, for example some keys which jangled from my pocket.
  • Manscaping – a combination of the words man and landscaping which talks about the grooming of male body or facial hair.
  • Bacne – a combination of the words back and acne which refers to pimples that are found on the back.
  • Ampersand – a combination of the words and per se which describes a symbol used to denote the word ‘and.’ or ‘as well as’ or ‘in addition to.’
  • Mankini – a combination of the words man and bikini which refers to a type of flimsy swimwear worn by a male, usually for comedic purposes.
  • Grool – a combination of “Great” and “Cool”.
  • Anklet – a combination of the words ankle and bracelet which describes a piece of jewellery which is worn around the ankle.
  • Blaccent – a combination of the words black and accent which is used to describe someone who has or uses an accent which sounds as though they are of black descent when in fact, they are not.
  • Moobs – a combination of the words man and boobs which describes the large breasts of a male, usually who is overweight.
  • Movember – a combination of the words moustache and November which is used to describe a month of the year where men do not shave their facial hair in order to raise money for charity.
  • Never – a combination of the words not and ever, which is used to say that something will not ever occur.
  • Blushing – a combination of the words blood and rushing, which is used to talk about the red flushing of the face when blood rushes to the cheeks due to embarrassment or bashfulness.
  • Bollywood – a combination of the words Bombay and Hollywood which is used to refer to the movie making business in India.
  • Oxbridge – a combination of the words Oxford and Cambridge which is used to refer to the universities of the two cities.
  • Brainiac – a combination of the words brain and maniac which is used to describe someone who is extremely intelligent and loves to learn.
  • Chillax – a combination of the words chill and relax which is used usually to tell someone to calm down.

Portmanteau Infographic

Portmanteau

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How to use portmanteau in daily conversation

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How to use daily conversation

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